Saturday, December 12, 2009

Adventures in San Francisco

The best way to make a living is to do what you love and find a way to get paid for it. That would mean I'd have to find a way to get paid to travel, run and eat ice cream. This past week, I came pretty close.

Work, in its awesomeness, gave me an all expenses paid trip to San Francisco. I was a little afraid I would like it so much I'd never want to come back. And my fears were justified. We walked or took public transportation everywhere (woot! for cable cars and the MUNI). There was frozen yogurt on every corner. It was heaven. (It was a little colder that I would have liked, but to be fair, everywhere except the surface of the sun is a little colder that I'd like.)

The trip got off to a bit of a rocky start. We were supposed to fly from Rochester to Cincinnati, but the pilot decided to make an emergency landing in Buffalo. Apparently the plane had some electrical problems. It was a little surreal, but also pretty awesome. The flight attendant had us practice bracing ourselves for landing with our arms crossed on the seatback in front of us, although it turned out that we just made a regular landing. When we did land, there were firetrucks and police cars waiting for us on the runway. Everything was fine and we all made it
inside safely, where we waited in line to be reassigned to other flights. A super awesome airline worker at Buffalo got us on a flight from Buffalo to Atlanta and then to San Francisco, and by "mistake" upgraded us to first class. So not only were we not on fire and/or dead, but we got to fly first class for the first time. Which just goes to show that sometimes what looks like bad luck turns out to be pretty sweet luck.

People who say that money can't buy happiness have never flown first class. The seats are bigger, there is enough legroom for a giant, and the flight attendants keep bringing you stuff: drinks, snacks, blankets, headphones, warm towels. The best part was that the seats reclined so you could actually lay down and sleep. I felt a little guilty as the rest of the passengers walked past us to get to the coach seats, but I knew we'd be back to the cheap seats for our return flights so I just tried to enjoy what would probably be the only time I'd ever fly first class. Oh
and I take that back - the best part was actually when we landed and overheard this conversation courtesy of cell phone guy sitting in front of us: "Hey beautiful, where you at? Damn, Gertrude!" So of course "Damn, Gertrude!" is our new favorite exclamation.

Seriously though, San Francisco was incredible and, if California weren't so freaking expensive, I would totally want to live there. Well, Paris will always be my first love, but San Francisco is a close second. Alcatraz and Muir Woods were amazing. Lombard St (the crookedest street in the world) and Coit Tower were neat too. I spent all my quarters on the old fortune telling machines at the Musee Mechanique, and I totally wish we had a Boudin's in Rochester. It's a super awesome bakery with really good soup and even better sourdough bread (I especially like the one at Fisherman's Wharf that had loaves of bread shaped like alligators,
turtles and crabs). Other highlights included watching the sea lions sunning themselves on the pier, riding the cable cars, shopping at the secondhand boutiques on Fillmore St, and just walking around the different neighborhoods.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip. The only downsides were that I somehow hurt my leg at Alcatraz and spent the next few days limping around and popping Ibuprofen and that I was annoyed at having to pay $60 for a 7 day pass to the hotel's gym, which I thought should have been free considering that it was not an inexpensive hotel. But I can't really complain since it was a free trip.

The best (and worst) part of vacation is that it makes me long for more vacation, and there are so many more places I want to go. I only hope that there will be many more Robotventures ahead of me...

lyric of the moment: "Rocket, I'm taking a rocket. I'm packing my suitcase. I'm leaving today..."